Mount Sinai – Graduate School of Biological Sciences

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

Overview

” | Choice
of Preceptor
| ” | “

The
Mount Sinai Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is set in a still relatively
new medical school that has developed strong, innovative, and interactive
M.D. and Ph.D. curricula and has been enjoying a period of especially
active growth — both with respect to thoughtful curriculum development and
with major additions to the molecular-oriented research faculty. The spirit
of
growth and the cooperative interactions that emanate from it provide an atmosphere
that particularly fosters the training of the creative MSTP student.

With the evolution of multidisciplinary efforts, overlap between old fields,
birth of whole new fields, and an enormous opportunity for applying fundamental
knowledge
to important biomedical problems, Mount Sinai seeks to offer each student a
wealth of options in developing the optimal program of predoctoral training
for his or her
individual goals. The Graduate School has adopted a model for its predoctoral
training programs that reflects the multidisciplinary nature of contemporary

biomedical sciences. In accordance with the recommendation of major study groups
of the National Academy of Sciences and others, our students are encouraged

to pursue a course of study that focuses on rigorous mastery of the art, craft,
and conceptual framework of an important research problem. They are sensitized

to the broader biomedical context through the multidisciplinary Core
Curriculum
and training
area
organization. At Mount Sinai, moreover, MSTP students enjoy an environment
in which basic research, research applied to fundamental problems in human
biology,
and the more clinical research and clinical applications enrich one another
in the stimulating way that promotes innovation at the edge of knowledge.
The
predoctoral education prepares our students to take creative and sophisticated
approaches to new scientific problems in a variety of career settings. All
graduating
students are awarded the M.D. degree and the Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Sciences
by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University.

There are currently 60 students matriculated in the Mount Sinai MSTP. The
total training faculty encompasses 200 research laboratories. Mount Sinai’s research
faculty
is still in a period of active growth in numerous important
areas of research. Thus students enjoy interactions with new faculty and the
novel programs and viewpoints they bring to the School throughout their
stay at
Mount Sinai.

Admissions Features
Most of our students enter as direct “extramural” applicants to the MSTP,
having completed undergraduate and perhaps some graduate studies or postgraduate
research/study.

Some students enter after having whet their research
interest in the Medical School (they may apply in Year 2, for MSTP Year 3)
or after having decided to pursue the clinical component in the Ph.D.
program (they may apply during Year 1 or Year 2).

All MSTP students enter the Program on the “Flexible Entry” track. While expressions
of interest in particular training areas are important both for the recruitment/admissions
process and for establishment of the best initial Advisory Committee, the Program’s flexibility allows
the MSTP students the maximum freedom to choose and explore during
the Research Rotation period.

All students are supported at the same level. The uniformity of support and the
help in meeting any extraordinary needs without compromising this important
principle contribute to the high morale in the MSTP.

Choice of Preceptor
Mount Sinai offers a strong advisory system throughout the duration of the Program.
Each student has an initial Ph.D. Advisory Committee from the moment of arrival

— modified as becomes desirable. The MSTP Director serves as the medical school
advisor for each student during the first two years. During the Ph.D. phase
of
the Program, each student has the opportunity to work with an advisor from
the Clinical Advisory Committee to the MSTP. A particular Clinical Advisor
is later
chosen to guide the student during the clerkship period.

Choice of a research mentor is facilitated by up-to-date materials on research
activities, Pre-Freshman Summer Rotation (optional), Laboratory Rotation during
Years 1 and 2 and the summer in between, a fall semester event which exposes
students to potential preceptors, and the Medical Scientist Research Seminar
Series, which introduces new faculty to the group and provides an opportunity for MSTP
students to present their research.

Program Features

  • Outstanding research and clinical training facilities. At Mount
    Sinai, the clinical training takes advantage of the state-of-the-art The
    Mount Sinai Hospital and numerous affiliated and networked institutions.
  • Flexibility in the patterns of the years of training.
  • Integration of rotation, special seminar, and journal club activities
    and opportunities to complete the Ph.D. “” during
    the first two years.
  • Optional tailor-made clerkship experience between pre-clinical
    curriculum and major part of Ph.D. work.
  • Strong ethics program.
  • Flexible opportunities for clinical involvement during major
    research phase.
  • Clinical refresher program for students entering clerkships after
    a hiatus.
  • Opportunities to teach/tutor in pre-clinical courses and journal
    clubs.
  • Seminars featuring successful clinician-scientists, often Program
    graduates, who represent various professional activities.
  • Annual year-end meetings with Program leadership to evaluate
    the year’s successes and failures and to discuss Program features that
    might be modified for further enhancement.
  • Flexibility with respect to entry into clinical clerkships and
    the option of condensing the clinical training period to one and one-half
    years to accommodate completion of the research project.*

*All students will
have completed enough clerkship work before deciding on postgraduate applications
to be comfortable in that process and will have had adequate time for sub-internship
experiences that optimally prepare them for postgraduate clinical work.

Graduates
We are delighted with the enormous success of our MSTP
graduates
who are now
members of the faculty at numerous top medical schools and research institutes,
and who are contributing importantly to the knowledge base in the biomedical
sciences.

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